I was lucky enough to be able to experience some of the wellness offerings at Hilton Aruba, one of the 10 hotel resorts that Hilton has to offer in the Caribbean. It was my first visit to Aruba and although I didn’t have much time to plan for this trip there were plenty of things to do on the hotel property and in the surrounding area that gave me a chance to explore and fulfill all the areas of my personal wellness journey that’s important to me.
It’s the beginning of the year and like every start of the year, everyone’s thinking about their health goals and focusing on how to incorporate more exercise into their daily lives. As an Integrative Health and Life coach this is something I work with my clients on daily, but rather on focusing on major changes in one’s routine, we figure out how we can incorporate small changes that can help them get back on track to cultivating a healthier relationship with exercise and movement. This approach has helped them create sustainable lifestyle changes that they can be easily adapted to their busy lives.
A lot of my clients have tried it all when it comes to fitness programs, workout classes, and fitness challenges. And just like my clients I’ve tried it all as well, if not more. Throughout my own personal experiences with exercise, I’ve realized that the best way to get back in shape and stay on track of one’s health goals is to find an exercise that you truly enjoy and love. Like most of my coaching clients, I spend a lot of time in front of a desk. Sitting or even standing at your desk all day can be tough on posture so strengthening the core, back, and upper body is key. Here are some of my go-to moves that can be done anywhere. All you need is a resistance band and a mini loop resistance band and you’re ready to go!
As I sit here and work on changes after changes on my blog I'm thinking to myself WTF, I've been sitting here for days going back and forth and making page changes, replying to emails, opening packages, creating social media content, and feeding my daughters their afternoon snacks.
I love what I do and I love being able to share my world with you guys. It's been such an incredible treat to do so and surprises just seem to come at every corner. Now that I'm blogging full time while going to school there has been so many things I've learned that I wish I knew before I started my blog.
For all of you who's thinking of creating a blog here's the top 5 things I wish someone told me:
1. You will evolve as a blogger or brand and that is 100% OK! When you're in the beginning process of starting your blog, you are building your brand. A brand essentially is your identity as a person or a company. When you first start you may have this idea of what your blog or brand will be about. Over time, as you grow as a person some of these initial views you may have may evolve to. When I started GOFITJO I had the intention of it being a heath and fitness blog. In my head that meant healthy food recipes and workouts. As I continued to learn more about myself in my fitness journey I realized I was more than just a before/after photo and I wanted to share more about my life and so I did. In fall of 2015 I made major changes to my blog and started to incorporate more of my life. At that point I didn't feel cornered in to just writing about workouts and healthy recipes, I felt free to write about the things that mattered most to my heart.
2. Focus on your own lane. There will always be a shit ton of people doing the same thing you're doing whether this be blogging or Instagramming (also referred to as micro-blogging) and there will always be more for you to write about if you focus on your story. When I was a hairstylist I remember thinking to myself "Who is going to come to me as a hairstylist, there's so many talented stylists here in the Bay Area?" As I continued to focus my craft as a hairstylist I built an incredible clientele. This attitude is what is needed to constantly remind myself when I started my blog. Your story will resonate for a particular audience and there are millions of people who can potentially connect to your writing. Focus on your story, focus on refining who you are as a blogger, the rest will follow.
3. That my dishwasher would be filled with bowls. Maybe this is just me, but ever since I became a full time blogger all I do is eat out of bowls. Salad in bowls, poke bowls, smoothie bowls, ice cream bowls...Sadly I feel like its due to the number of meals I have throughout the day and the time spent in front of my computer either writing, editing photos, or studying.
4. Find coworkers! Starting something new can be scary. You'll experience frustrations, accomplishments, and moments that you just need someone to cheer you on when you're feeling a little low. I'm so grateful for a few handful of girlfriends who have not only been able to be there to help me spell check blog posts, web pages, and emails, but they are there when I need to rant. They are my virtual coworkers. Two of my favorite coworkers is Remi of rrayyme.com and Meg of megsexton.com, they help make my days go by quicker and are typically second eyes on my work.
5. Schedule out time to do the housekeeping items like updating your blog/site, bookkeeping, looking for inspiration outside your industry, photoshoots, etc. I get distracted really easily especially working from home. It's a good practice to schedule things out that are important to get done so that you can treat them like important appointments. When there's an endless list of things you can do for your blog you want to make sure you take the time to organize your schedule so you know what needs to get done and when. Right now one of my biggest priorities is building out an editorial calendar so I know when to launch blog posts consistently on specific days of the week. At the moment its really ad hoc, but I know it's not going to be sustainable when I become a health coach!
I know that starting a blog, learning photography, or knowing what kind of content to create can be hard and I'd love to help in whatever way I can. I mentioned last year that I'll be starting to share a series of posts that are geared towards blogging, content creation, or social media. If this is something you'd love to know more I'd love to know! Fill out the form below if you are. Since its #TBT I'd love to share a little throwback Thursday blog post of one of my posts I wrote when I was a hairstylist about branding.
Let's Get Profreshional
I can’t count the number of times I’ve worn myself out from going, going, going, or the times I’ve deliberately made myself insanely busy simply to the point where I’ve almost completely stopped facing my problems head on. If I was being honest, it's probably at least once or twice a month.
There’s nothing wrong with being busy or time-efficient, but I think there is something wrong with not being able to stop and enjoy the small, empty moments. There’s something wrong with having to fill every second with activity because you’re not ready to face certain problems or challenges you're tirelessly running from. It’s so easy to get trapped in focusing at the big picture and constantly trying to jump from milestone to milestone, and forget that the present is pretty great, too.
Yesterday, was a rough one for me I woke up strong and ready for the day and all of a sudden anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. I was paralyzed in my own thinking. Part of me wanted to blame it on the gloomy weather that is covering the SF Bay Area, but deep down inside I knew that the reasons why anxiety was beginning to swell inside was because self doubt and fear was starting to overwhelm me. My husband and I are both now entrepreneurs in our businesses and often times we’re both juggling responsibilities between operating our business and keeping our home lives functioning strong.
When you own your own business you don’t work a 9-5, you work a 24/7.
My mind is always working, strategizing, and trying to figure out what the next steps are going to be in order for me to really create the life that I want to live. But I’m learning the hard truth that I just can’t do it all on my own, that my home life wont be 100% glossy, manicured, and perfect and the clutter will need to be picked up another day and the laundry will have to be put away at some point later in time.
Here’s some things I’ve learned to let go in search for balancing my home life and #girlsboss life:
1. Expectations of who I needed to be in that moment. While juggling multiple hats, you have to learn that every moment in life will be different and each new day may not be the same as yesterday. Comparing those perfect days to the imperfect ones doesn't help your mind get centered and focused on what's happening in the present moment.
You can't tackle the future unless you focus on the now.
2. People pleasing. This is a big one and I'm not 100% perfect at this, but letting go of pleasing others over my own happiness is one I've learned and still continuing to learn. You cannot put your own self happiness in front of the happiness of others. Now I know that sounds selfish, but ultimately what I mean by this is you can't sell your soul for someone else. Deep down inside you are driven by truths that you hold dear to yourself. When those are compromised you lose yourself and become imbalanced in your daily efforts to find your self worth.
3. Being a "Pinterest mom". We women have it tough especially when it comes to trying to figure out our roles in society as a mother, both SAHM or working moms. The biggest thing I've had to let go was this idea of a perfect life for my kids. My house isn't perfect, its not the most pristine at all times, and some days clean laundry is still waiting to be folded and put away after several days of being clean. But these are the small sacrifices I'm willing to make to create precious and quality time with my kids. Something that I haven't had enough of while juggling the role of a people manager at my last job.
Some days I take a look around my house and I get disappointed with the mess. Bits of paper and homework cluttered at every table, the sink not perfectly clean at every given hour, and the piles of laundry from corner to corner, especially because our house is a household of women which means we go through our wardrobe quickly. But I have to keep reminding myself that IT'S OKAY to let this things go so you can sit and play with your kids or hang out with your husband.
I don't ever picture our lives really slowing down I think we're always going to live in a constant motion of being on the go, which is why I love using Persil ProClean 2in1 for both my overly sweaty workout clothes and my kids "well loved" school clothes. It's no surprise its been rated as number one best laundry detergent, it got both the stains out of my daughter's clothes and got my workout gear fresh for my next sweat session. Here's a coupon for you to use on your next purchase.
PersilProClean provided me with compensation in exchange for this sponsored blog post. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.
I'm excited to be partnering up with three amazing babes in the area to host our first 2016 Bay Area BBG Meetup. For those who don't know much about BBG, check out the insane amount of hashtags splattered all over Instagram. BBG is a 12 week workout guide created by Kayla Itsines, its simple to follow, and it builds a really great foundation of movement for any fitness level. I picked up the guide several years back, but never put it into use until the tail end of last year while I was recovering from a shoulder injury. Now I use the guide to supplement cardio or circuit training in between my strength training days with weights.
To intro some of these babes that I'm collaborating with I wanted to do a little spotlight on each of them so that you can get to know some of these bad-asses and how fitness plays a role in their world. First up on my spotlight, Shannon Michelle.
How has making fitness a mindful part of your life affected your day to day?
For me, it's all about the little things. Rather than take the elevator, I take the stairs. Rather than drive everywhere, I walk to do good for my body and the environment. I am more mindful of what I put in my body by trying to eat clean when possible, but also treating myself when I feel like I deserve it. Sometimes exercise = extra fries if I need something to give me a little extra motivation!
Have you always been so fitness oriented...was there an ah-ha moment that changed this for you? (you can tell your story here)?
Several years ago, my mom was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. She regularly consulted with a nutritionist to keep her health in check. I started educating myself on health and fitness because I was so worried about her. She is now doing much better by keeping her sugar under control, eating clean, and exercising on a regular basis. From then on, I began my fitness journey because I want to be healthy and live a long life to be there for my future family.
What does your workout schedule look like on a weekly basis?
My workout schedule consists of either a TRX warm-up or a weightlifting warm-up + the Kayla Itsines BBG guides 3x/week. On the other days, I typically do hip hop dance, yoga, or pilates. I also try to be active on the weekends by hiking when the weather is nice!
If you could give one piece of advice for anyone starting their fitness journey, what would it be?
Make sure you are embarking upon this journey for the right reasons. Many times people want to "lose weight" because of negative words someone said to them and they feel insecure. Other times people compare themselves to others and feel like they are not good enough. In order for your journey to succeed, you have to be doing this truly for you and not to impress anybody else. Because at the end of the day all of the compliments, likes, and acknowledgement from others should be secondary to the pride and sense of accomplishment that you feel for yourself.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for empowering women. As women, we are taught at a young age that self-worth is derived from physical beauty and appearances. Intelligence, wit, and strength are not valued as much as being "pretty," whereas for men, more importance is put on these non-physical attributes. I would like to to change this way of thinking and remind our young women that smarts, sense of humor, and strength are just as important. I want to empower them to aspire to be the next woman president, rather than the next Playboy bunny.